Contributors volume 2

Chris Algar ( is head of Barleycorn Concertinas (Stoke-on-Trent), which is generally thought to have the largest selection of concertinas in the world, including rare and unusual ones. A longtime Morris musician, he now plays Irish music with a couple of bands.

Allan Atlas ( is on the Musicology faculty at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. His performance—together with mezzo-soprano Julia Grella O’Connell—of The Confession of Devorgilla (Music Supplement) can be heard at the online version of PICA.

Benjamin Bierman ( is a composer-arranger-trumpet player with a wide range of musical experience. As a trumpeter, he has performed and recorded with the likes of B. B. King, Machito, Tito Puente, and Ray Barretto; as a composer—he is completing the Ph.D. in Composition at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York—he has studied with David Del Tredici, Tania León, and John Corigliano, and his Proximities for orchestra was recently accorded ‘special recognition’ by the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Synergy Project competition. Currently a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Baruch College/CUNY, he arranged The Confession of Devorgilla for English concertina and mezzo-soprano on commission from the New York Victorian Consort.

Faye Debenham was born in Western Australia and immigrated to British Columbia, Canada. Though Vancouver was a step in a ‘working holiday’ around the world, it was there that she met and married Albert Debenham and, most latterly, enjoyed a career encompassing politics and government circles. Sparked in part by her husband’s tale of two grandparents of artistic merit—grandfather Edwin, a prominent Victorian photographer, and grandmother Marie (Lachenal), a kind and gentle lady ‘who played the concertina’, she undertook research on the Debenham family, which in turn led to research on the concertina and the partnership with her co-author, Randall C. Merris.

Roger Digby has been playing Anglo concertina for over thirty years. Playing in a fiercely English style when performing with Flowers and Frolics, he extends the instrument’s range far beyond its assumed limitations, stretching it most fully when accompanying the wide repertoire of Bob Davenport. He has a passionate belief in the integrity of traditional music.

Eric Matusewitch ( is the Deputy Director of the New York City Equal Employment Practices Commission and author of the Manager’s Handbook on Employment Discrimination Law (Andrews Publications, 2000). The son of the late concertina virtuoso Boris Matusewitch (1918-1978) and himself an amateur concertinist, he often performed with his father during the 1960s-1970s, with programs at Carnegie Recital Hall and the New-York Historical Society among their many joint performances (yes, they do use a hyphen in New-York).

Randall C. Merris ( is an economist at the International Monetary Fund and an amateur concertinist. He has been an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, has taught economics and finance at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, and has consulted with Asian governments on economic policy and financial reform. He writes mainly on economics and occasionally on the concertina and its history, and he is the author of ‘Instruction Manuals for the English, Anglo, and Duet Concertina: An Annotated Bibliography’, The Free-Reed Journal, 4 (2002), which is also available online at <>.

Harry Scurfield ( plays and sometimes teaches the Anglo concertina. His repertoire includes adaptations of blues and early jazz, English traditional dance tunes, and raucous singing accompanied on the instrument. An interest in the broad range of possible contexts for the Anglo led, amongst other things, to a lasting interest in African concertina playing.

Tom Tonon ( received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and an MA and Ph.D. in Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences from Princeton University. He has worked in several areas, including literature (writing), carpentry, factory assembly, liquid propellant rocket engines, thin film photovoltaics, and catalytic combustion, and is currently Senior Engineer at AIL Research, Inc., working in the field of liquid desiccant air-conditioning. He has several publications and patents in these areas, and is currently developing an acoustic pitch-bending technology for free-reed instruments.